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Kumihimo: From Defense to Decoration (Lecture)

Olympia Weavers Guild, Olympia Washington

Friday February 15, 2019 – 10:00 AM

 This slide lecture presents a history of Japan through the perspective of kumihimo or plaited silk cords.It traces the historical development of Japanese plaited cords from fossilized remains in grave mounds to the exotic Samurai era when silk cords were used to lace together the warrior's armor.It also explores the current fashion trends using cords as obijime (an integral part of securing the obi and kimono)as well as decorative neckpieces. Examples of several projects I’ve made using braid will also be documented.In addition to the slides taken in Japan and at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are also slides taken by a professional advertising photographer in Kyoto, documenting past fashions in kimono and obi. The samurai slides will include the recent exhibit of armor at the Portland Art Museum.